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Psychosocial perspectives on working conditions among men and women in reindeer breeding in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing. Centre for Rural Medicine, Primary Health Care, County Council of Västerbotten, Storuman, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3220-9557
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing. Centre for Rural Medicine, Primary Health Care, County Council of Västerbotten, Storuman, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3975-4868
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
2017 (English)In: Journal of Northern Studies, ISSN 1654-5915, E-ISSN 2004-4658, Vol. 11, no 2, p. 31-47Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: The aim of this project was to describe the work organisation in the Sami communities and in reindeer-herding work and to explore the range of female duties and compare how men and women experience their psychosocial working conditions.

Design: A kind of intervention study was performed by means of a questionnaire sent out to 200 individuals from seven Sami communities. Questions were asked about work organisation, communication, personal relations, solitary work, support, participation and appreciation from colleagues and women's tasks. Meetings and discussions were held about what was perceived as being important in the life of the Sami communities. Notes from 16 group discussions were written down and analysed according to themes of topics relating to how men and women in the Sami communities experience their lives.

Results: Communication and relations were described as being inadequate and some respondents experienced a heavy workload. The women reported more troubled relations, less participation in decision-making and less appreciation from colleagues. Positive issues reported were the Sami identity and a strong connection to the reindeer and to nature.

Conclusions: This study indicates a need for a more systematic study of the psychosocial work conditions in the Sami communities in Sweden. Measures should be taken to develop the organisation of work, e.g. through developing communication strategies and conflict management, which has been requested by several Sami communities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University; The Royal Skyttean Society , 2017. Vol. 11, no 2, p. 31-47
Keywords [en]
reindeer-herding Sami, work organisation, gender, social support, work demand
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public health; Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-138334DOI: 10.36368/jns.v11i2.885OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-138334DiVA, id: diva2:1134595
Funder
Västerbotten County Council
Note

Originally included in thesis in manuscript form with title: "Psychosocial perspectives on working conditions among reindeer herding Sami in Sweden". 

Projektet är också finansierat via EU Mål 1 Sápmi, Norra Norrland, dnr. SN 1.43-4/03

Available from: 2017-08-21 Created: 2017-08-21 Last updated: 2024-03-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Att leva i två världar: hälsoaspekter bland renskötande samer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Att leva i två världar: hälsoaspekter bland renskötande samer
2017 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Health aspects among reindeer herders in Sweden : living in two worlds
Abstract [en]

Introduction: There is a gap of knowledge of the health situation among the reindeer herding Sami in Sweden. The Swedish government has also got criticism for not taking responsibility for the Sami health. The aim of this thesis was to get more knowledge to understand the health situation of the reindeer herding Sami in Sweden. Furthermore, gender specific risk factors in the working environment among reindeer herders and their perception of healthcare and social services were investigated.

Method: Cross–sectional questionnaires covering different aspects of health such as musculoskeletal disorders, trust for different healthcare providers and work related psychosocial factors was distributed to reindeer herding Sami and non-Sami populations. Interviews with nine reindeer herding Sami about trust in healthcare and social services were carried out and analyzed with thematic analysis. Sixteen discussion meetings with 80 reindeer herders focusing on psychosocial perspectives of working conditions in Sami communities were performed.

Result: The prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms from elbow, hand/wrist and lower back from male reindeer herders were higher compared to blue-collar worker. Psychosocial risk factors for health were identified such as high workload on a few herders, difficulties to get relief and support as well as to get appreciation in work and lack of participation in decisionmaking among women were common in the organization of reindeer husbandry. The trust in healthcare and social services was lower among reindeer herding Sami compared to non-Sami majority population. A hypothesis is that healthcare professionals do not know that the "Reindeer cloud" (metaphor to iCloud) affects all parts in the reindeer herders life. The distrust are influenced by historically traumas, reindeer herding Sami experiences from healthcare professionals and healthcare organization and culturally generated norms.

Conclusio: The thesis hypothesized that health disorders, attitude towards healthcare and psychosocial environment are important aspects when trying to understand the health situation among the reindeer herding Sami. There is a need to introduce long-term public health work for all Sami people, to establish ethical guidelines for Sami health research and develop healthcare services that provides access to healthcare for the reindeer herding Sami, on equal terms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2017. p. 60
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1906
Keywords
Reindeer herding, Sami, reindeer husbandry, health, musculoskeletal, confidence, trust, healthcare, psychiatry, social service, work demand, psychosocial, working conditions.
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-138405 (URN)978-91-7601-746-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-09-15, Sal 135, by 9A, Allmänmedicin, Norrlands universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-08-25 Created: 2017-08-22 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Edin-Liljegren, AnetteDaerga, LailaSahlén, Klas-GöranJacobsson, Lars

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